The big game of the weekend was the Sunday evening fixture between Bordeaux and Marseille but 9 games would be played before the last two Ligue 1 Champions would do battle. Lorient hosted Lyon expected to be new Lyon signing Yohan Gourcuff taking on his Dad Christian’s side, Gourcuff started on the bench, Claude Puel surprised many with his team selection, Cesar Delgado, Jimmy Briand and Bafetimbi Gomis starting upfront with Kallstrom, Makoun and Gonalons in midfield, Jeremy Toulalan continued in the centre of Lyon’s defence.

It only took 8 minutes for star striker Kevin Gameiro to cause Toulalan problems, giving his man a head start he tried to recover in doing so he handled the ball in the box, the referee pointed to the spot, Gameiro stepped up and left Lloris with no chance the Brittany club taking the 1-0 lead, Gameiro should have made it two, giving Toulalan a torrid time his movement was causing problems, linking with Amalfitano he cut inside but could only fire his shot straight at Lloris.

The away fans got what they had come for, Cesar Delgado pulled out with an injury and Gourcuff was the player brought on, a few home fans including his mum cheered his appearance, the 22 million euro man will take time to fit in with his new teammates, on a few occasions a lack of understanding and communication saw players getting in each others way.

Lyon’s best chance came in the 2nd half, Makoun floating a pass over the Lorient defence Briand latched onto it, however Lorient keeper Cappone was out quickly and managed to smother Briand’s attempt, soon after it was 2-0, a neat Lorient move found Amalfitano on the right, Lloris could only parry his shot, falling at Kitambala’s feet the debutant had the easy task of finding the empty net.

Another bad result for Claude Puel and Lyon, this must be time to ditch the idea of Toulalan at centre back, they could do with adding a defender to their squad before the transfer window closes on Tuesday, Lorient will be hoping the window closes with Kevin Gameiro still in their squad, very talented player good finisher, smart movement, very skilful with Bordeaux recently coming into money who would bet against them making a move.

Toulouse continued their great form beating Nancy 2-0 at the Marcel-Picot stadium, Capoue scored the first after some lovely skill and putting the ball between Loites legs his low finish found the corner of the net, the score remained the same until the 93rd minute when Franck Tabanou went on a fantastic solo run, beat 3 men and finished with aplomb chipping over Bracigliano. Toulouse sit top of the table on a maximum 12 points.

St-Etienne made it two home wins out of two with a 3-1 victory over Lens, it was all about Dimitri Payet the young winger scoring a hat-trick and finally looking like he will fulfil his potential, the first saw him cut inside to his left foot and curl the ball beautifully past Vedran Runje a trend that was to continue, 10 minutes from time Payet took the ball from the left flank all the way to the edge of the box beating two man before shooting low to Runje’s left the Croatian with no chance. The final goal of the hat-trick was similar cross ball to the left; Payet brought it down before cutting inside again and firing the low shot past the helpless keeper. Jemaa added a late consolation goal for Lens, Payet had already done the damage, many Ligue 1 fans are wondering whether now is the time the exciting winger will come of age and light up the League week after week, only time will tell.

Saturday saw two 1-0 away wins, Montpellier stealing all 3 points from Valenciennes, Giroud with the only goal heading home after Kabaze’s acrobatic overhead kick found him unmarked in the 6 yard box, Rennes continued their great start with a 1-0 victory over new boys Arles-Avignon, Victor Montano’s goal worthy of winning any game, the 25 yard strike beating Plante, Arles hit the woodwork twice trying to level the game, Kermorgant’s late free-kick was curling but could only find the post not the back of the net.

The last game on Saturday saw fast starters Caen take on newcomers Brest, and it was the new boys that picked up the points, after Caen’s Sambou Yatabare was shown a straight red from a rash challenge on Ferradj, his studs were showing the referee had no choice but to show the red card, Brest took full advantage of the extra man, Micola great cross from the right was finished clinically by the very talented Nolan Roux, 15 goals for Brest in Ligue 2 last year he has made a fast start to his Ligue 1 career, 2 goals in 3 games, Brest weren’t finished there Lesoimier was brought down just outside the box, however the referee pointed to the spot, Licata took the spot kick and finished the game off, a great away win for Brest their first win in Ligue 1.

4 games on Sunday and there was a surprise win for Sochaux at home to PSG, Sochaux highly tipped to struggle this season moved into 4th place with the victory goals from Maiga and Ideye Brown gave the home side a 2-0 lead and PSG’s woes were comfounded just before the half time whistle a Sochaux corner was met in the air by Damien Perquis. Gregory Coupet caught in noones land, the ex-French International could take the blame for all 3 goals, not the player he used to be. PSG’s Guilleme Hoarau took a ball on his chest and a powerful finish past Teddy Richert gave PSG a small chance, it was to be Sochaux’s day though, although manager Franck Gillet was sent to the stands early on he will have been delighted with his side’s performance.

The other two early games saw Monaco beat Auxerre 2-0 and Nice take a point at Lille with a 1-1 draw, Niculae and Aubameyang with Monaco’s goals, a Emerse Fae penalty and Eden Hazard finishing after Gervinho’s tricky run the only moments of note at the Stade Metropole.

The big game of the day and the weekend saw Didier Deschamp’s Marseille travel north to take on Jean Tigana’s much changed Bordeaux side, Marseille started Loic Remy after he passed a second set of heart tests this week, other new signing Andre-Pierre Gignac started on the bench, Bordeaux has some debutants of their own Ben Khalfallah signed from Valenciennes joined Anthony Modeste in Bordeaux’s line-up.

Marseille took the early lead, Brandao’s cross was deflected and Lucho was left unmarked in the box, he wasn’t going to miss from such close range, the away side looked comfortable in the lead, That was until the 33rd minute Eduardo Cisse made a challenge on Jaroslav Plasil it was late but not dangerous, not in the eyes of referee Tony Chapron, showing Cisse the red card and reducing Marseille to 10 men.

A very tight match at times you couldn’t tell what team was down to 10, Loic Remy came close in the second half to making it 2-0, he looked offside but the replay’s showed otherwise, a powerful shot in which the superb Cedric Carasso got a hand to and pushed it against the post, Carasso had a fantastic game, a highlight reel on his own, keeping Bordeaux in the match, and it would pay off, in stoppage time Plasil had drifted wide right found a yard of space his cross was dangerous and it was new man Anthony Modete who’s near post run and header levelled the game and stole the points from Marseille, the home crowd estatic, showing that there is life after Gourcuff.

Toulouse stay top, Rennes and Montpellier not far behind, Sochaux continue their great start as do St-Etienne in 5th. The bottom of the table is strange reading, Lille, PSG, Bordeaux, Lyon and Auxerre usually found higher up, the table is propped up by new boys Arles-Avignon still looking for their first point, it doesn’t get easier with PSG and Marseille to come, The next gameweek on September 11th see’s the Derby Du Nord as Lens host rivals Lille in what should be another exciting weekend in France.


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